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No more maple sugar?


Carolyn Tillie
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Climate experts predict a warming trend could take hold of New England over the next century and ultimately make fall foliage less vibrant and the maple syrup industry practically nonexistent.

In this morning's Maine Today.com

What's a pancake fiend like me supposed to do?

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This would be a major bummer. Fortunately, I don't believe it is imminent.

John Sconzo, M.D. aka "docsconz"

"Remember that a very good sardine is always preferable to a not that good lobster."

- Ferran Adria on eGullet 12/16/2004.

Docsconz - Musings on Food and Life

Slow Food Saratoga Region - Co-Founder

Twitter - @docsconz

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This would be a major bummer. Fortunately, I don't believe it is imminent.

Imminent? You don't find 100 years imminent, docsconz? I find the very idea of no more maple sugar to be quite disastrous! Therefore, I shall stockpile the precious stuff .... :wink:

Melissa Goodman aka "Gifted Gourmet"

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This would be a major bummer. Fortunately, I don't believe it is imminent.

Imminent? You don't find 100 years imminent, docsconz? I find the very idea of no more maple sugar to be quite disastrous! Therefore, I shall stockpile the precious stuff .... :wink:

I just bought 6 jugs at Sam's Club. Some is going to be used to cook a ham in the method I developed for improving the cheap loss-leader, too salty ones that are offered during the holidays.

Some is going into pumpkin/pecan butter - recipe posted in another thread.

Somehow I feel that there are folks in Canada who are kicking their heels with glee!

"There are, it has been said, two types of people in the world. There are those who say: this glass is half full. And then there are those who say: this glass is half empty. The world belongs, however, to those who can look at the glass and say: What's up with this glass? Excuse me? Excuse me? This is my glass? I don't think so. My glass was full! And it was a bigger glass!" Terry Pratchett

 

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From 1958 through 1971 there were dire predictions of global cooling!

"There are, it has been said, two types of people in the world. There are those who say: this glass is half full. And then there are those who say: this glass is half empty. The world belongs, however, to those who can look at the glass and say: What's up with this glass? Excuse me? Excuse me? This is my glass? I don't think so. My glass was full! And it was a bigger glass!" Terry Pratchett

 

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There were?

Sorry, it was 58 to 81, not 71.

global cooling

and there are lots more

such as this.

Just wait a few years and the pendulum will swing back the other way.

"There are, it has been said, two types of people in the world. There are those who say: this glass is half full. And then there are those who say: this glass is half empty. The world belongs, however, to those who can look at the glass and say: What's up with this glass? Excuse me? Excuse me? This is my glass? I don't think so. My glass was full! And it was a bigger glass!" Terry Pratchett

 

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Not to worry folks. These catastrophes usually get way overblown. Sounds to me like it might have been a slow news day in Maine. And keep in mind that down here in Highland County (VA), we have a significant maple syrup business, and we're several miles south of New England :raz:.

THW

"My only regret in life is that I did not drink more Champagne." John Maynard Keynes

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Anyone who thinks global warming is a "trend" of some kind, or a passing fancy of the media, is seriously uninformed. My daughter did a research paper for her college English class this summer, and you would be agape at some of the information she assembled.

If you would like to read it, send me an e-mail at tanaATtanabutler.com. I will send a PDF.

(Brag alert: my girl, just out of her sophomore year in high school, received the highest grade in the classful of adults, and her teacher asked her if she might use this particular research paper as a "textbook example" of what a research paper should be.)

I have heard this before about the maple trees disappearing, a couple of years ago. It's not a "slow news day" item at all.

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This would be a major bummer. Fortunately, I don't believe it is imminent.

Imminent? You don't find 100 years imminent, docsconz? I find the very idea of no more maple sugar to be quite disastrous! Therefore, I shall stockpile the precious stuff .... :wink:

To me "imminent" is this year or next. I'm not saying that it is not a concern. I live in the heart of today's maple syrup country and would like it to stay that way!

It is true though, that this may become one of our lesser concerns if the predictions are correct and nothing is done about it. As someone once said, "the only constant in life is change."

John Sconzo, M.D. aka "docsconz"

"Remember that a very good sardine is always preferable to a not that good lobster."

- Ferran Adria on eGullet 12/16/2004.

Docsconz - Musings on Food and Life

Slow Food Saratoga Region - Co-Founder

Twitter - @docsconz

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I just bought 6 jugs at Sam's Club.  Some is going to be used to cook a ham in the method I developed for improving the cheap loss-leader, too salty ones that are offered during the holidays.
andie, that sounds quite clever and good. Care to share the method?

Thanks,

Squeat

Following is a copy of the post with the recipe on 10/1/04

I should add that I did an 18 pound ham a while back and cooked it for almost 5 hours at this low temperature. It was almost like ham candy. Even people who don't like ham went back for seconds.

All About Ham, Ham goodness

Oct 1 2004, 05:26 PM

Post #4

I grew up eating home cured ham and nothing has ever tasted as good. Occasionally my relatives who still live on the farm send me a ham for the holidays. These are really big hams, nothing like the little ones in the market.

No dye to color the ham pink. It is more a dark red.

I have developed a "recipe" or method for turning a barely edible "loss-leader" supermarket BONE-IN ham into something quite acceptable. However it involves finding some inexpensive maple syrup - I buy the jugs of the stuff at Costco but Trader Joes sometimes has a sale on the "B" syrup which has more flavor.

You need a lot of it because the ham has to be covered at least half way with the liquid.

First you take your ham and trim off as much of the outside fat as possible. Then you take your trusty chef's fork or if you don't have one use an ice pick, and stab the thing all over, stab deep, right down to the bone. If you have a shank end and the shank is quite long, saw it off so you have something that will be easier to turn.

Then rub the ham well with dry mustard, use gloves and really massage it into the surface. Then

put it into a pot that is not too much larger in diameter than the ham but leaves you enough room so that you can lift the ham out easily when you need to turn it over. Start it with the shank end up, don't lay it on a side.

Add the maple syrup until it comes up well past half way on the ham, if you have enough, cover it.

put it in a slow oven, keep the temperature around 275, certainly not over 300.

At the end of an hour turn it over and put it back in for another hour.

Repeat until the ham has been in the oven a total of 4 hours.

lift it out of the pot and put it on a wire rack over a sheet pan or in the sink so the excess liquid can drip off. Then transfer to a dry roasting pan, turn the oven up to 350 and put it back in the over 30 minutes to brown.

When the syrup is cool, strain it and store it in the freezer, you can use it for another ham.

You can do this with a spiral sliced ham, one of the cheap ones that are usually way too salty, but you have to have it tied fairly tightly so the slices won't separate during the cooking.

Edited by andiesenji (log)

"There are, it has been said, two types of people in the world. There are those who say: this glass is half full. And then there are those who say: this glass is half empty. The world belongs, however, to those who can look at the glass and say: What's up with this glass? Excuse me? Excuse me? This is my glass? I don't think so. My glass was full! And it was a bigger glass!" Terry Pratchett

 

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Actually the treatment forces the injected salt solution out of the ham and allows the maple syrup to percolate back in.

I really think it works on the cellular level because it even changes the texture of the ham.

Some people think it will turn out similar to a "Honey-Baked" ham but it really isn't. It is quite different and I am anxious to know how it turns out for you.

Last year I gave the directions to a young lady who was a student at Cal-Poly Pomona and she cooked it for a group of friends at school, the first time she ever made anything except burgers and hot dogs.

She said right in the middle of the dinner one of the boys stood up and said the ham was better than his mama's and would she marry him........

It was a joke, of course, but she was thrilled with the compliments.

She had planned on leftovers but there wasn't a scrap.

"There are, it has been said, two types of people in the world. There are those who say: this glass is half full. And then there are those who say: this glass is half empty. The world belongs, however, to those who can look at the glass and say: What's up with this glass? Excuse me? Excuse me? This is my glass? I don't think so. My glass was full! And it was a bigger glass!" Terry Pratchett

 

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Climate experts predict a warming trend could take hold of New England over the next century and ultimately make fall foliage less vibrant and the maple syrup industry practically nonexistent.

In this morning's Maine Today.com

What's a pancake fiend like me supposed to do?

Buy Canadian? :laugh:

Jon Lurie, aka "jhlurie"

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For the sake of this discussion-thread, let’s consider the next 100 years as “long term” – and the next 20 years as “short term.” Whatever the impending consequences of the global-warming phenomenon, Pacific Decadal Oscillator (PDO) is the operative meterological term for those of us living in the central & eastern portions of North America. The PDO is a 15- to 20-year weather-pattern shift to colder winters due to a frigid air flow from Canadian regions. The PDO is formulated on computer modelling based on data gathered from the last 120 years. The warm period of the pattern has concluded and we are now entering a return to colder winters.

Significantly, the PDO acronym is deciphered by a simple triplet of definitions: “Pacific” refers to the slow fluctuations of water temperatures in the northern Pacific Ocean. “Decadal” refers to a trend that lasts multiple decades. “Oscillator” means that the pattern shifts back & forth more-or-less regularly between phases. [Reference source]

So then, once again, the Eastern US is starting to see the effects of the early stages of a very cold cycle. It seems rational to expect that detrimental environmental factors that could harm the maple sugar groves over the “short term” will probably derive from something other than warmer-than-usual seasonal temperature ranges.

"Dinner is theater. Ah, but dessert is the fireworks!" ~ Paul Bocuse

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This may be true, although last night was the first Halloween in my experience in which my kids could go out trick-or-treating without coats.

John Sconzo, M.D. aka "docsconz"

"Remember that a very good sardine is always preferable to a not that good lobster."

- Ferran Adria on eGullet 12/16/2004.

Docsconz - Musings on Food and Life

Slow Food Saratoga Region - Co-Founder

Twitter - @docsconz

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So... the maple syrup/cheap ham trick is sort of a reverse brining? I'm curious as to how many times the syrup could actually be reused. Does it become overly salt laden at some point and therefore no longer effective?

I'm also curious about the math... if Costco syrup works out to about $24 per gallon (it's in quarts for about $6 - right?)... does this system still make sense from an economic standpoint relative to just getting a real high quality ham and not buying syrup?

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This may be true, although last night was the first Halloween in my experience in which my kids could go out trick-or-treating without coats.

"Here shall we see

No enemy

But winter and rough weather."

~ Shakespeare: As You Like It

Obviously, there have always been aberrations for any particular date. Christmas day is another commonly benchmarked day for weather comparions: “Coldest I can remember!” “Mild & sunny; wasn’t like this when I was a kid!” And every possible variation in between. Where I live, it’s almost like a micro-climate: About 5 or 6 miles to the west, is an area which normally has the latest occurence of frost in the county. About 20 miles south, is the earliest occurrence in the county. About 120 miles to the southwest, farmers enjoy a two-week head start in the Spring for crop plantings compared to their peers who farm about 30 miles outside of my city.

Of the last five winters in New England, one was normal, whereas four were not normal, in terms of the number of sub-freezing temperatures recorded. The upcoming winter is forecast to have a 20% probability of milder-than-average temperatures; whereas there is a 50% probability of a colder-than-normal winter. For one thing, higher natural gas prices may be a foregone logical conclusion, due to widening supply/demand imbalance re shrinking storage formations.

Of course, a mere 1% seasonal variation either toward milder or colder temperatures can significantly impact a host of environmental issues – including, no doubt, our treasured sugar maples.

"Dinner is theater. Ah, but dessert is the fireworks!" ~ Paul Bocuse

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